Tingo Inc, a Nigerian digital service agri-company is seeking $500 million to expand across Africa partly through acquisitions according to its Chief Executive Officer, Dozy Mmobuosi. Tingo joins newer companies that are benefiting from increasing investor interest in Africa, where startup fundraising reached a record of almost $5 billion last year.
According to this report, the CEO in an interview said the company is raising a combination of debt and equity financing via a private placement and is also in talks to list on the New York Stock Exchange in the first half of this year.
Founded over 20 years ago, Tingo is reportedly valued at about $6.3 billion and expects its earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation (EBITDA) to more than double by 2025.
“We plan to acquire companies and expand infrastructure that will help us become a pan-African business, delivering the same services we’re delivering in Nigeria in many other countries. We are working closely with the exchange and we believe the outcome will be positive.”Chief Executive Officer, Dozy Mmobuosi.
What does Tingo offer?
Tingo Incorporation is a Nigerian company that provides digital and financial services to stakeholders in the agricultural sector. Its platforms include Nwassa, a marketplace that gives everyone the opportunity to engage in Agribusiness anytime and on the go, by funding farms and trading agricultural commodities. It also has Tingo Mobile, an Agri-Fintech company that offers a comprehensive platform service for farmers to have access to inputs, credit and markets for their produce via mobile-phone applications.
In April 2021, the company launched TingoPay, a one-stop-shop for financial activities. It also signed a partnership with Visa to deepen its financial services offerings in Nigeria and across Africa. Through the partnership, the number of its agents will almost double to 50,000 and those with Tingo smartphones will be able to access digital visa cards, not just the plastic ones.
According to the company’s website, it has sold 30 million mobile devices, 9million subscribers on its Nwassa platform and processes ₦8 million in daily financial transactions. Tingo posted revenue of $594 million in 2020, with Ebitda at $212 million and also claims to process about $4 billion in transactions annually.
Upon release of the news that Tingo is seeking funding, the public raised concerns about the past of the leadership of the company. In 2018, the CEO, Mmobuosi Odogwu Banye, also known as Dozy Mnobuosi was embroiled in a lawsuit on an 8-count charge of conspiracy, obtaining by false pretence and issuance of a dud cheque to the tune of N31, 055, 000 (Thirty-one Million, Fifty-five Thousand Naira).
The company addressed this lawsuit in a later release that the parties involved in the lawsuit have since resolved the dispute via arbitration.
From the new financing, the company intends to commit $100 million to a fund that will increase credit to mostly women farmers. The expansion plan involves operations in at least 19 African countries within the next three years.
There are also plans to acquire a commodities firm and a fintech, according to CEO Dozy Mmobuosi. “The technology firm with a payments license will combine with Tingo’s current business to become a “phenomenal” operation,” he said.
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